Here is How and Why Eritrea Should Demobilize most of its Fighters Now? – by Michael Abraha

The Eritrean government fully appreciates the most retched existence of its troops since independence 25 years ago. In recent years young fighters have been exiting its borders in droves dodging flying bullets or walking around

The Eritrean government fully appreciates the most retched existence of its troops since independence 25 years ago. In recent years young fighters have been exiting its borders in droves dodging flying bullets or walking around mines; then treking on for months through deadly African deserts and then onward to another deadly sea journey to Europe in overcrowded rubber boats; keeping patriotism aside for a moment, and assuming you (the escapee) have been horrified at the possibility of dying in a battlefield from a ghastly wound inflicted by a bullet, a bayonet, a grenade or mortar explosion, then you would probably prefer to die in the high seas in a capsizing boat – drowning may be a more pleasant way to die.

But assuming you have not drowned and u are now in a European city as asylee, you are probably already scrubbing floors and dusting streets and back alleys in exchange for that long awaited real income you have earned. Then it is time for this: “Dear Dad and Mum, I am sending 200 euros until I transfer more next time. Yes, I will pay the 2 percent Govt tax. Love you. Bye.”

Endowed with very rich natural resources and very loyal and hardworking population, Eritrea should be growing at the rate of double digits.

So what went wrong? The govt has failed to trust the young generation and has long abandoned to take into account collective national wisdom. Not even a semblance of rule of law, no checks and balances. Just more gulags – over 300 of them scattered in this small country of about 5 million inhabitants. Yes, Badme should be returned and the UN sanctions must end now. But while waiting for these to occur, the people’s right to political participation and free speech ought to be upheld at all times.

Alright let’s forget free speech and democracy and transparency and just talk economics. The Eritrean govt is damn right when it says human rights mean nothing if tummies are not filled with food and people have no access to health care and education.

Important as these progressive measures are, there is not much economic success worth discussing with one 6% with mobiles and less than one percent of the people able to access the Internet.

Here is one one way to better maximize human resources with zero danger to national defense.

With its impressive mining and remittance resources, Eritrea could probably support up to 200,000 well paid, well fed professional standing army to defend the country. At the same time, the country may sustain over 300,000 reservists who could easily enter civilian life to raise families and boost the economy as farmers, employees in urban centers or as business managers and owners. They are would be as skilled fighters as of the members of the standing army.

In order to turn these 300,000 soldiers (would-be reservists) into an economic force, the Eriterean govt needs to introduce a scheme similar to that going on in South Sudan aimed at demobilizing and rehabilitating former liberation fighters. The South Sudanese are a very proud people who aspire for self-reliance but pride aside they appealed for UN and other donors for assistance in the form of aid or loans in order to make the rehabilitation program successful.

I was in South Sudan for two years after its independence in 2011 and reported on this extensively. Former fighters were provided with job training and sometimes literacy skills before they resumed civilian life and joined the labor force.

Eritrea should temporarily shelve its fervent self-reliance policy and do what is realistically advantageous for the people. It is time to call for external aid and take loans from global financial institutions so as to bring back the “non-standing army personnel” and provide them with financial assistance and equip them with the skills needed to serve in the agricultural and industrial sectors. Whenever there is an external threat these reserves who are skilled soldiers may be called back to duty at a moment’s notice.

Please think your own thoughts as well and let’s hear them.

aseye.assenna@googlemail.com

Review overview
20 COMMENTS
  • k.tewolde March 28, 2017

    Michael writes.’The Eritrean gov. is damn right when it says human rights mean nothing if tummies are not filled with food and people have no access to healthcare and education.’ and turns around blames the ‘government’ for absence of rule of law,checks and balances and abandoning the trust of the young generation and the collective national wisdom,are you following me? or am I dyslexic? and continues to paint this photogenic national economy by saying,’with its impressive mining and remittance resources……….to defend the country..’ defend from who? remittance from which segment of the population? what about ‘the government’ and its repressive apparatus? stays intact? I am floored! good night.

  • Nahon March 28, 2017

    “But assuming you have not drowned and u are now in a European city as asylee, you are probably already scrubbing floors and dusting streets and back alleys in exchange for that long awaited real income you have earned. Then it is time for this: “Dear Dad and Mum, I am sending 200 euros until I transfer more next time. Yes, I will pay the 2 percent Govt tax. Love you. Bye.””

    Michael Abraha

    The writer seems to be a Higdefite with their usual “they are leaving the country to look for jobs” excuse.
    In fact, he does’t mention dictatorship, the most brutal one, to say the least.
    The problem in Eritrea is primarily political, the economic melt down is a consequence. Even war is a consequence of that, because nobody authorized Iseyas to go to war with neighbors.
    So, let’s not find excuses for Higdef’s blunders, dictatorship is the main reason why people are leaving the country. A prerequisite of peace and economic progress is to have a government elected by people, a government that can be changed if it fails to abide by law.

  • adhanom March 28, 2017

    I agree with the basic idea and objective of the article. I, however, did not understand what he meant by the sunction should be lifted. There is no economic sunction imposed. Is it the illegal 2% extortion that the writer is talking about or the military embargo. We do not need bombd, but bread.

    • Almaz March 29, 2017

      On what ground is the 2% illegal? It is the law of the land.. Do you know Americans who reside abroad but got an income MUST pay tax? if not he/she has to deal with consequence and it is not easy— prison time, wage garnishing etc..
      What is your definition of economic sanction? To me sanction is —if one can not use the money generated as it wishes fit the need of the nation.
      Alamz

      • almazina March 30, 2017

        Almaz
        compare eritrea (the bottom of everything) with the usa …lol. Compare ur eritrea with somalia may be. How is that 2% tax doing? Are u paying 2% from ur food stamp….lol.

        • PH March 30, 2017

          2% መቅተሊ ሰባት ሙኹዋኑ ዘይትፈልጥ ኣልማዝ ትሕዝነኒ።ኣብ ካልሊኦት ሃገራት’ስ ኢኹዋ ኣምሳያ ኣግልግሎት ይሁቡኻ ።ኣብ ኤርትራ ግን ኢንትርፊ ኣገልጋሊ ተገልጋሊ ፉጹም የለን።

      • adhanom March 30, 2017

        It is illegal b/s non of them is elected. Iseyas and his criminal gangs are illegitimate. So is their decree.

      • You will be faced March 30, 2017

        Almaz,

        It is not the 2% that Eritrean citizens and other countries complaining.
        It is the way it is collected.

        It is very hard to imagine how diaspora Eritreans are forced to pay.
        Did either you or the so called government forget that “ERITREANS”
        not only opened their check book but they also gave their life?

        Do you know that when Americans pay taxes they “DEMAND” for
        services, they “VOTE” and they have due process?

        Almaz, are you one of those few families who migrated with their entire family, then bought or build a house in Asmara and decided to
        pay 2% not because they wanted to help the country but they want to protect your investment?

        People already know who these families are. You will be confronted.

  • alem March 28, 2017

    There is a government of shaebia. There is no government of eritrea

  • Z. Hagos March 29, 2017

    It is good idea that the 300,000 soldiers be demobilized and considered as reservists. But isaias does not want to set them free. He wants them in their trenches like prisoners so they don’t join the forces that oppose tyranny in Eritrea.
    ..
    Nowadays there are signs that those soldiers started to defy Isaias’s orders. Many are crossing the border to free themselves. Some of those inside are showing here and there resistances giving hard time to the generals. With a good leader to bring together and lead those opposing voices will soon result in freeing the whole country from the tyranny of isaias.

  • adhanom March 29, 2017

    The writer contradicted himself again and again as he tried to paint the beast as a legitimate government. He tried to legitimize the gang groups as elected officials or a government, the 2% extortion as income tax, the 100ds thousands slaves as an army. Wey michael abraha aka higdef. Blash.

  • andom March 29, 2017

    Writer carefully chose words that please the gangs in asmara. Demobilization instead of freeing from slavery, government instead of militar junta or tyranny, remittance instead of extortion. Good try but a waste of time. We know our enemy, we know what we want, so it would be wise if u (michael abraha) do not waste ur time trying to hide crimes of iseyas, his illiterate generals and few associates.

  • Tes March 29, 2017

    The good intetion of the writer is obvious to see along the lines. However, he mixed the nonsense of hgdf words of deceit. He talks about embargo and badme as if the cuase of all ills in Eritrea. Tipical excuse of pfdj and its supporters. Having said that I don’t doubt the writer of good intention and he is not affiliated with pfdj in anyway. For sure the blunder of Iseyas are countless. His sheer incompetence is second to none. What’s is sad is that there are people who believe what has done was for the survival of the country. They confuse a nation from its people. A nation without its people hollow and useless.

    • alem March 29, 2017

      The writer may not be associated with pfdj, but lacks understanding of the whole situation in eritrea. “If iseyas borrow money and the youth are allowed to live with their family and parents the problem is gone.” Does not he know that forced lifetime concription of everyone above 17 under pretext of national service is to keep them off cities and villages and control them so as to stay in power. Iseyas and his associates in crimes would be history if the youth were not taken to slavery camps.

      • hilmi ab/tigray March 30, 2017

        Why don’t you came to see for yourself if there is no government of Eritrea
        A strong government that stood it ground against all odds
        ,malevolent hostile foreign policy,and it survives

        • Tes March 31, 2017

          To see what the theatrical display of the crook. Who are going to fool. Here in this forum are all Eritreans. We are very well aware of the situation in the ground. Because we are receiver of the burnt. You’re sick person who enjoy the suffering of his people. There’s no cure to your sickness. For your information “try to get out of your dream remember your name”. Hilmi ab tigrai. You are simply soulless person. Shame on you and your follow associate in crime Almaz.

  • Hagherawi March 30, 2017

    The writer is a well known Higefite, but with this article he is trying to keep a distance from them because now they look too ugly for anyone to defend them openly.
    Too late too little.

    • k.tewolde March 30, 2017

      It is never too late till the fat lady sings,the national consciousness is constantly evolving, the truth is being revealed painstakingly slow and the ugliness of the ruling party is coming to life like a Polaroid picture for those who cannot interpret the negative like you said Hagerawi. It got to a point that you cannot defend the indefensible.This spectacle is being played in the White House today PS Sean Spicer vs the relentless American press.

      • k.tewolde March 30, 2017

        conclusion- can you imagine if we have that kind of press in Eritrea?!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Hagherawi March 31, 2017

          Brother k.tewolde, let them abandon Higdef, we will always welcome them.

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